Top Posts & Pages
But first, a conundrum. I began writing this post only to end up with three completely different beginnings. Since I’m incapable of making even the easiest decision, I’ve decided (after much debate) to leave it up to you! Similar to the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books in which you flip to a certain page to read the ending you want, you may choose to begin this blog at #1, #2 or #3. Once you’ve picked, you may continue reading the remainder of the post at the “Continue reading here” mark.
Well, would you look at that. I’ve successfully turned this informal, just-for-funsies post into a reading assignment with multiple instructions. Excellent. Just like a baby shower host says when you’re forced to eat baby food and guess the flavors: “It’s fun once you get started, I swear!”
In addition, you have thirty minutes to complete the blog. At the end of thirty minutes, I will then ask you to pick up your pencils for a short quiz on comprehension. #2 pencils only. No, Jimmy – that blue pen will not work. Before anyone asks, no, bathroom breaks are not allowed. We’ve been through this before.
1. I should clarify the title of this post. The way I feel about the award is lovely. Not to say the award itself couldn’t be superficially lovely, of course. The jpg image that coincides with it seems lovely enough, although I have yet to stare deep into its eyes to assess its inner being. But let’s get to the true matter at heart.
2. Finding out I won the One Lovely Blog Award initially resulted in a daydream straight out of a rousing game of Family Feud.
Steve Harvey: “What words would you use to describe Cassie Behle’s blog?”
Contestant 1: “Ummm…riddled with ADD?”
Steve Harvey: “You’re going to go with ‘riddled with ADD?’”
Contestant 1: “Yup!”
Steve Harvey: “Is that your final answer?”
Contestant 1: “This isn’t Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”
Steve Harvey: “I wish it was. I’d be getting paid a hell of a lot more as a host…Did I just say that on air? Anywho, show me ‘riddled with ADD!’” Gestures to the scoreboard with a flourish.
Scoreboard: “Wah, wah, waaaaaaah.”
Steve Harvey: “Contestant 2?”
Contestant 2: “Er….lovely?”
Steve Harvey (looks down at paper): “Survey says…lovely!”
3. When your full-time job, freelance job and hobbies revolve around writing, the constant requirement to spit out detailed, accurate information cleverly interwoven within punchy, enthralling copy can numb anyone’s creativity.
A rigorous weekly routine of laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, exercising, and keeping my cat alive doesn’t help matters. By the time I’ve crossed those items off my list, I usually have one more to add: closely scrutinizing my head in the mirror for any potentially new gray hairs.
This usually leads to a solid five minutes rocking my tabby cat in my arms, staring ahead in a daze while murmuring, “You’ve got a lot of gray and you’re still lovely…” Yes, my transition to crazy cat woman is almost complete.
On top of all that, it’s football season, not to mention my favorite season of all – fall. I’m so busy perfectly layering skinny jeans atop boots and scarves atop fitted jackets atop cardigans atop boho shirts atop tanks that by the time I head to Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte, I’m exhausted!
I blame Pinterest for all of my life’s woes and lack of time, really. Although, I suppose I would have more time if I got to the point.
Lately, I haven’t been able to give this blog or my fellow bloggers the attention they deserve. With life’s flurry of activity, the blog is unfortunately the first thing to take a hit, as it sits in the #6 spot on the priority list behind God, family, friends, wine and work.
If a post isn’t done by Friday, it’s simply not in the cards for the week, 1.) Because I hate cards (game, not greeting) and 2.) Because once the weekend hits, I technologically fall off the grid. It’s true. I tuck and roll right outta there as if my life depended on it. (Which, my social life does!)
CONTINUE READING HERE
So, imagine my surprise when I was presented with the One Lovely Blog Award last week from my dear pal, Mal, over at Maloquacious. Thank you for your support and cheerful comments, and thanks for being you! If it weren’t for you, I would never have added the words “rollicking,” “chuffed” or “smashing” to my daily vocabulary! Cheers!
Check out Mal’s page, but come back here afterward – I’m not done with you yet. And, just a reminder? The clock’s ticking.
To make myself feel better about getting things crossed off my “To-Do” list, I shall now cross off the first requirement of this award – to thank the person who nominated me and link back to them in my post.
Next, I must share seven things about me.
1. I check on my tomato and jalapeño plants more than a mother checks on her newborn baby. At least babies are round and fit easily in the crook of your arm. Try holding a planter in your arms, feeding your jalapenos water rich in nutrients while typing out the news at work when you can’t find a plant sitter. Then we’ll talk.
2. I buy my tacos from a truck on the side of the highway. By choice.
3. The feminist in me is infuriated that bowling alleys always make the lightweight bowling balls pink.
4. I do my best thinking at night, which is unfortunate because that’s also when I do my best sleeping.
5. I take the shortest baths. Once in, the questions in the back of my mind are inevitably, Now what? or How long do I have to do this for? Then, I get stressed out because I’m trying to relax but all I can think about is the water getting colder by the second and how I’m wasting the hot water on my neuroticism. Other things I can’t help but think about are: who owned the apartment before me, if they liked to take baths, too, and if they were 60 years old and/or hairy.
6. I teasingly chase my cat around the apartment only to end up fearfully and very seriously running for my life and squealing like a little girl when she turns the tables.
7. I’m the girl who will jam out to Britney Spears in the car with the windows down only to turn the radio down and change it to a Minus the Bear CD at a stop light so other drivers think I’m cool. Yes, I am aware that I am, in fact, not cool.
I’m now required to nominate 15 other bloggers. Instead, I am going to nominate only five so they don’t get lost in a mix of names and to show my true appreciation for their wit, humour (using the “o” and “u” was just for you, Mal!) and insight. Visit their pages – each boasts their own unique style of ingenious writing.
Lastly, I’m supposed to leave a comment on their blogs letting them know that they have been nominated. On it.
Oh, and there’s no quiz. Thought I’d try scare tactics on my readers to see if I could get you to the end of this ridiculously long post. Did it work?
After more than 100 years spent roaming one of the most haunted locations in the nation, one ghost at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo. is calling it quits. When inquired as to what turned the ghost off from the career of his non-lifetime, he quite calmly replied, “My soul’s just not into it anymore.”
Of course, it took the reporter on location about ten minutes to decipher the sentence, as the EVP sounded like he had ominously and barely audibly whispered, “Srhhrwiowrrhshosorur.”
Reporter: “But…you don’t technically have a soul anymore.”
“Neither will you if you keep this banter up,” the ghost retorted.
Thousands of people visit the hotel each year hoping to experience a gripping paranormal event and become part of its evolving history. The Stanley Hotel gained major recognition in 1977 when Stephen King based his book, The Shining, off a night’s stay in room 217 – said to be haunted by housekeeper Elizabeth Wilson, who was nearly killed by a gas leak explosion.
“She makes sure each guest’s stay is pleasant by being super helpful,” scoffed the ghost. “Never did grasp the idea she was supposed to pick on everyone. Then again, most ghosts are pretty horrible at grabbing things in general.”
Reporter: “Still have some residual resentment against her after all these years, huh?”
“I personally never understood how she could be an intelligent apparition, that’s all,” the ghost replied defensively. “But with her bright personality, she’d probably make a pretty good orb.”
Whether ivories are tickled mysteriously on the grand piano in the empty Music Hall, tourists are grabbed by invisible hands while walking down a hallway, or a full-fledged apparition appears, one thing’s for sure – this ghost has had enough.
“You all come here to vacation; well, what about me? It’s a 24-hour job thrilling you – without the benefits,” the ghost said.
Reporter: “But…you’re dead.”
“Equal opportunity,” the ghost answered. “Plus, I work overtime.”
Reporter: “But…you chose this line of work. Coulda had eternal life.”
“People always told me when I was alive to get a life. I was big into stamp collecting, you see. So, I figure, why start now?” the ghost responded.
“And, sure, an “Oooooh” here, an innocent picked pocket there,” he added. “But then you people started visiting at all hours of the day and night. I’m not an animal. I’m not going to haunt you on call. And these hours are ridiculous! I kind of feel like that genie from Aladdin, except I grant people a reason to change their pants, not wishes.”
Reporter: “Would you haunt on call for a Klondike bar?”
“Well, that’s not a fair question. Who wouldn’t?” the ghost countered, shrugging.
Reporter: “That’s the spirit!”
“ANYwaaay, I’m talking about those guys from TAPS,” the ghost said, fuming. “If Jason asks me about my life and who wronged me one more time, I will lose it. If I wanted to talk about my father, I’d go to a therapist.”
Reporter: “What about your father?”
“It all started when I was a child and he told me I couldn’t play with my invisible friend…” began the ghost needily.
Fast forward one hour as the ghost lies down and makes itself comfortable on the hotel couch in the entryway, painstakingly outlining his entire life. Meanwhile, the reporter crosses her legs and sits with a hand propped against her forehead, looking downward and trying not to ask questions until the ghost looks at her pointedly for additional probing into his life.
“And then, when I was seven, I stepped on a beehive…” continued the ghost.
Reporter (looking at watch): “Oh, I’m so sorry, but your time’s up for the day. Good session; you’re really making some progress.”
“Ten more minutes!” cried the ghost.
Reporter: “OK, but I get to ask the last questions. What do you feel you contributed to the history of the Stanley Hotel?”
“Sheer awesomeness,” said the ghost without a moment’s hesitation. “Now when people visit this hotel, the coolest paranormal thing they’ll see is Paranorman.”
“Because the Stanley has it on for free 24-7 up until Halloween for all guests right now,” the ghost finished.
Reporter (pauses): “That’s a good movie.”
“Isn’t it?” the ghost commented back thoughtfully.
The reporter then challenged the ghost by noting it seemed to be somewhat of an unmemorable character among the hotel’s more active, popular apparitions, to which the ghost replied, “Yeah, I suppose so. But that’s just because I choose to solely haunt the head chef so he makes me sandwiches.”
Reporter (shaking head in disproval): “So, are you thinking about starting anew somewhere?”
“I don’t know; he cuts the crusts off for me. Hard to get that kind of service these days. Besides, that ghost girl who haunts the fourth floor is pretty cute…” he said. “Horrible at rolling balls straight down the hallway though. Probably all the candy she eats that guests leave lying on the hallway benches. Can ghosts get diabetes? No, what’s more – can ghosts sue humans?”
Choosing to leave the two questions unanswered, the reporter asked one final question.
Reporter: “What are you planning to do with all your newly acquired spare time ?”
“I won’t be boohooing into a corner, that’s for sure!” the ghost said. ”I’ll definitely be scare-fing down more sandwiches than normal. Maybe do some wail watching. I’ll definitely pay a visit to my haunt and uncle. Of course, I’m just lucky my blood hasn’t curdled yet with old age at this point.”
Reporter: “This interview is as over as your puns.”
“Of corpse it is!” the ghost cheerfully responded. “I’m afraid I’m not ghoul, after all.”
Most people aren’t immediately aware that becoming a member of the church automatically enlists them to freely give of their time or money throughout the year to help with various church organizations and events. Upon registering with my local church to become the godmother of a friend’s child, I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t see that first philanthropic phone call coming.
Church committees are sly about it, initially calling on a weekend night when inhibitions and guards are down. As I looked at the caller ID and picked up the phone, I remember thinking, this must just be the movie store calling to remind me my movies are overdue.
That happens a lot.
Five minutes later, the guilt from saying no to cleaning the church that next Sunday set in, even though I was legitimately out of town and unable to help anyway.
I’ll give it to those committees – they are as steadfast in their phone calls as they are in their faith…faith that they will eventually convert me into a minion to do their bidding, that is. Newbies are predictable, I guess. It wasn’t two months later when I received my second phone call, this time requesting watermelon for a salad luncheon.
It wasn’t a request though, as much as it was an order, sent from God Himself through the soft-spoken mouth of a Catholic Mother.
Oh, He’s good.
How do you say “no” to that? Ya can’t. And you certainly can’t say you’re busy or “accidentally” forget about it, because they ask you well ahead of time, before you have a chance to make weekend plans.
Catholic Mother: “I’m calling to verify you’ll be bringing 12 cases of root beer to the root beer float box social on Aug. 13, 2014?
Me: “But that’s almost two years away…”
Catholic Mother: “Make it Barq’s. ‘Preciate it!”
And, they send out reminder postcards now. Like dentist offices. Like save the dates. Except this time, you’re saving the date for your (God willing) eventual entry into heaven – one gallon of cubed watermelon and dusted pew at a time. In the constant battle between laziness and guilt, guilt wins every time. Then again, I suppose that’s what being a good Catholic is all about.
A week later, I’m teetering in my high heels across the church parking lot before work, a gallon of watermelon in a plastic bag (They’re also very specific about what they want. The reminder postcard is basically like a ransom note: “We’ve got your soul. Bring a gallon baggie of watermelon cut into cubes no larger than one inch if you want to save it.”) weighing me down, but lightening my conscience. As I smiled brightly to the two elderly women accepting food, I noticed there wasn’t even a checklist from which to cross out my name in pen, permanently acknowledging my gracious contribution.
I reminded myself that God is omniscient.
Let’s fast forward to two months later. As my family and I sat in church a few Sundays ago, a reminder of the upcoming annual bazaar boomed in my ear. My brother, mom and dad all smiled at me knowingly, beaming with pride that their daughter has finally taken on a responsible role within the church.
…it was coming.
The phone rang last night. Running on the treadmill, I wondered again who was on the other end of the line, thinking it was my friend calling from his landline since he had just gotten back into town to visit for a few days.
I’m like one of those kids who answers the door even though they see Stranger Danger and a white, unmarked van on the other side. I just don’t learn.
This time, the ante was sufficiently upped.
I had a choice (that’s what SHE called it, anyway). I could help the Catholic Mothers (yet, couldn’t help dwelling on the fact I was NOT actually a mother) cook pounds upon pounds of roast beef on Thursday and Friday or I could monitor the roast beef for hours on Sunday. Because I work Thursday and Friday and knew I wouldn’t even be able to monitor my own heart rate if forced to watch over roast beef for hours on end, I was given one last choice:
I could donate $10 to the bazaar fund and make two desserts.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am so willing to help out, especially for the church and for any good cause. I want you to know that this blog and my stubborn will associated with it is all in good humor. That being said, the request seemed a little much for how frequently they contact me. If there are 400 people in this church and this organization calls all of them to contribute, couldn’t we just all bring one dessert and $10? Can’t I just sit the bench on this one event?
It seemed I couldn’t, because I was getting played.
As she got off the phone, she reminded me that they strongly prefer the desserts to be homemade. I guess Fiber One Chewy Bars “fresh from the oven” are out of the question.
As I write out my check and look to Pinterest for some good dessert recipes, I can’t help but wonder what the next few years of phone calls may bring. One day in the future, will I be asked to:
1. Write the homily?
“Father decided to go scuba diving this weekend. You don’t mind, do you? Make it about sheep straying from the herd.”
2. Teach bible school for the day?
“You don’t have a record, do you? Fantastic, be there at 8 a.m. Oh, yes – the kids will be terribly cranky from just waking up. You’ll be fiiiiiine.”
3. Be a better Samaritan?
“What you’re doing right now is good, but it could be better. Now if you gave me that Starbucks iced vanilla latte you ordered, that would be a step in the right direction…”
4. Fast for the month?
“So go ahead and don’t eat hardly anything this month. We’re all taking turns. For Jesus. By the way, can you take my turn? I’m up for next month. Thaaanks.”
5. Make the wine?
“It’s easy, all you have to do is grow some grapes, harvest them and make the wine. It’s not like I’m asking you to turn it into Jesus’ blood…”
7. Repaint the parking lot lines?
“But you said you were an artist…”
8. Come up with a few new hymns?
“The standard Alleluia is getting a little worn. Maybe try some gentle, G-rated rap – the parishioners will LOVE that.”
Clay and I are planning a trip to Vegas this fall and five minutes spent on Allegiant Air’s website Wednesday night was sufficient enough time to remember a favorite airline pastime – swindling. Why inconveniently pay $40 online right now (of all times) to check one bag when you can wait and pay $70 when you get to the airport?
I suppose if travelers are embracing their “I’m on vacation; eff it!” attitude, why shouldn’t airlines profit? Still, you better hope your bag doesn’t weigh more than the maximum 40 pounds or, whoops, that’s another $50 coming out of your pocket.
AA employee: “Sir, our scales are re-calibrated daily; yours must be off at home.”
Traveler: “Yikes; now I’m worried about how much I really weigh. Ah, heck – no, I’m not because I’m on vacation!”
AA employee: “Actually, it looks like we’re going to have to charge you for two seats because your weight is over the 250-pound maximum for one seat.”
Traveler: “Wha…I weigh 245 pounds!”
AA employee: “The camera adds five pounds, and look…” Points to security camera and shrugs helplessly.
Traveler: “This is outrageous!”
AA employee: “Oh, and by the way? That ChapStick in your pocket next to the $50 you still owe us for your bag puts you over the maximum weight of pockets, so that’ll be another $5.50.”
Traveler: Jaw drops.
AA employee: “Did you just smirk at me? Hand over a fiver. Your mother taught you better than that.”
When did it start costing an additional $13 (per person) to sit together? I thought that was the whole point of buying a plane ticket. I’m sorry, but I could have a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel with Chuck Norris and I’d adamantly tell him, “Chuck. Hate to break it to you, man, but I’ll just wait to talk to you until we get off the plane.” Even if he had a slideshow of his all-time favorite Chuck Norris facts set to Walker, Texas Ranger theme music. Even if he promised to quiet that crying baby next to me with a swift roundhouse kick to the face.
Ok, now I truly am sorry. Chuck Norris would understand though, because Chuck Norris pinches pennies so hard that they elongate into souvenirs commemorating his thriftiness.
…I’ll keep working on that one.
So, you go through the process of purchasing a plant ticket online and you think, just like everyone who purchased a ticket before you has ever thought, I’ve gotta be almost done. Buying this ticket has taken so long that I’m starting to have second thoughts about even going on this trip. Maybe I should be saving this money to buy a house for my future kids, not waste it gambling in Vegas.
All those thoughts go through your mind as you nervously watch the progress bar at the bottom of the screen fill further and further, your finger on the mouse, lingering over the “Back” button, until BAM! It’s over.
Except it’s not. This is when the “Would you like to add _______” series of questions comes into play. The airline also chooses this time to make you feel extra paranoid and regretful about the flight you booked by stating there is a $200 charge just to change your itinerary. Between the “Are you sure you want to ______?” and “Would you like to add ________?” questions, it’s enough to drive anyone mad. It got me thinking. In the future, what other options might they suggest we add to our trip? Currently, you can package a flight, hotel, and rental vehicle together for the low price of just hundreds of dollars. What else could one possibly need on a flight to Vegas and then, upon arrival in the city of sin?
Who hasn’t gotten a kick out of watching women’s handball (“Where are the girls? I don’t see any girls. Wait…yes – there’s one!”) or table tennis (“How did America qualify for this event again?”) during the 2012 Olympics so far? The people who like these unique sports are the same people who probably haven’t watched anything but the Olympics since it started. Even more likely, they only get up from the sofa to grab snack food when Bob Costas comes on air. Blech. It’s times like that I wish Champ Kind was a real sportscaster.
And after all, why work out, be productive or watch what you eat when watching others accomplish such athletic feats already feels so strenuous? It’s a workout of emotions.
It’s all those McDonald’s commercials, too. Talk about the wrong sponsor for the Olympics. Know how you can make all your Olympic dreams come true? Camera pans over to a glamour shot of fries.
At least I still shower daily. Combine that with clenching and unclenching my body before and after each race, heat, match or routine and hot damn! It’s been a full day!
There are old standby events which are fascinating to watch – swimming, gymnastics and my personal favorite, equestrian, which is never shown because MICHAEL PHELPS!!
Yes, he grew into a mature adult once he hashed out his priorities. No doubt he’s the best swimmer in history. But, can he compete with beautiful, graceful animals jumping over obstacles shaped like miniature versions of planets, chess tables and ancient British architecture? (Well, yeah – probably) NBC, the Tower of London fence called and it wants your priorities back! Oh, and it told me to tell you it’d like to see you jump over a moon. I think it said “moon,” anyway. Might have been “cliff.”
I figure that emphasis on the classics could be negated by a change of epic (Would the Olympics settle for anything less?) proportions. Sure, they do a great job of incorporating atypical events into the mix, some of which even normal citizens could qualify for.
Yes, race walking, I mean you.
What we’re really missing are those truly challenging, completely random sports. I have a few in mind I think could become the height of Olympic popularity.
1. Dodging traffic
Those who place win more than a medal – their lives!
2. Taco Ride
The Taco Ride in Omaha consists of riding bikes 10 miles for tacos every Thursday, drinking along the way. In the dark. Into Iowa. After filling up on cheap tacos and margaritas, participants ride the 10 miles back. For all those mathematicians out there, that’s a total of 20 miles, 10 of which are spent in agony due to newly-acquired food babies and acid reflux.
And Olympic Road Race participants thought they had it rough.
Here’s the other thing: The level of difficulty to bike into Iowa willingly and knowingly is infinitely high. This showcases the true power of tacos and good deals – forces that can only be reckoned with in front of thousands at the Olympics. But only on Thursdays.
Finally, falling during a routine wouldn’t cost Olympians precious points, but rather, earn them!
4. Extreme puzzling
Brain power over muscle power? Whaaa? In this unprecedented event, competitors will try their hand at one of the most exciting hobbies known to man. The only thing more thrilling? Watching them!
5. Miniature golf
Who in the world has ever actually gotten a free game on the barred last hole containing three holes that might as well be cutout circles of black fabric? Wait a second…
I can just hear the commentary now:
Bill: “Mike Johnson’s been struggling with his putts through miniature barns all day, Jim.”
Jim: “He’s getting into position and, Bill, look what a nice job he’s doing minding his surroundings as he plans out this next putt into the alligator’s mouth.”
Bill: “Jim, I notice he especially keeps eyeing the concession stand.”
Jim: “Those popsicles are tempting on a hot day like this.”
Bill: “Unbelievable, Jim! He’s breaking his concentration and…yes! He’s walking to the concession stand!”
Jim: “He’s pulling out a five, Bill – I don’t believe it! He’s requested the cherry flavor….he got it! He got it! And he looks like he’s enjoying it thoroughly.”
Bill: Jim, he’s definitely on pace for the perfect miniature golf game today! I haven’t seen this much childlike wonder from him since the Olympic trials in June.”
Jim: “He’ll have to really watch his concentration as he begins the second half of the course though, Bill. That’s when he’ll realize there are 18 more holes left. Hope he has enough money for nachos to give him that extra boost, or he’ll never finish.”
Bill: “Either way he looks at it, with that sugar high, he’ll never get to sleep tonight.”
Jim: “Watch out, Mrs. Johnson!”
Bill and Jim: Look at each other; quiet chuckle
6. Leaving work early without the boss knowing
Imagine Neo finding out agents are after him in the Matrix combined with Mission Impossible. Throw a couple James Bond moves into the mix. The overall obstacle? A maze of cubes, not unlike Office Space. Add a food day in your department, unscheduled fire drill, and a coworker lingering against your cube door because it’s Friday afternoon and productivity is nonexistent. Aaaand, begin!